Family Vacations in the Southeast

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Southeast – Family Vacation Guide

The southeast pace is much slower than anywhere in the country. The people of the South like to enjoy life, relax, and take their time. As time slows to a crawl, it’s the perfect backdrop for family vacations: families can stop rushing from place to place, being connected online, and trying to cram too much into a trip. Instead, the southeast states are about enjoying time together by simply being together in beautiful destinations. Ready to love your time together?

Why Go

  • Southern Hospitality

    As the saying goes Down South, “In the South, there are no strangers, just friends we haven’t met yet.” With so much welcome everywhere you go, it ranks high on the list of reasons to travel across the southeast.

  • Coastlines

    Enjoy the calm and emerald green waters along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Florida’s Panhandle, Mississippi and Louisiana, where the white sand is so soft, it squeaks beneath your feet. Or, ride the waves of the Atlantic along the coast of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and the Golden Isles along the coast of Georgia.

  • Ancient Mountains

    The Appalachian Mountain trail begins in Georgia and runs through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, providing ample hiking trails and fantastic vistas for visitors.

  • Charming Cities

    Southern charm oozes out of the large cities of the south, making them feel like small towns, even when they are as large as Atlanta, Nashville or New Orleans.

  • Country Music

    Dixieland is the home of country music, and you’ll find music festivals, honky tonks and more across the south, especially in Nashville, aka “Music City.”

Where to Go


The last of the 13 original colonies offers historical getaways to its cities such as Savannah and Atlanta; mountain explorations in the North Georgia Mountains, the base of the Appalachians; and extremely beautiful islands along its touch of coastline above Florida. Southern charm is in full force here. Enjoy the slow pace of the sticky, hot south, complete with trees draped heavily in moss around cobbled-paved squares wit a stop in Savannah. Just outside of the city are the “Golden Isles,” Georgia’s barrier islands along its small, but significant coast.

Take Me to Georgia


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North Carolina

The state of North Carolina is so diverse that outdoor-loving families will find happiness hiking and even skiing in its mountains near Asheville, surfing and water sports along the 200-mile-long barrier islands of the Outer Banks. These banks are small but pack a punch for family vacations. Sand-strewn streets and miles of protected national land where wild horses swim and roam, this is the place families turn to for week-long-plus vacations in large homes facing the sea – simplicity at its finest. More than you would expect from this state!

Take Me to North Carolina

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For a taste of Creole, New Orleans is the place. Situated along the Mighty Mississippi, the sounds of jazz pours onto the streets of this French-inspired town and unique town. Feeling almost like you’ve left the country, a visit to N’Orleans and the swamps of Louisiana will create life-long memories.

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South Carolina

South Carolina’s main draw for vacationers is its miles of coastline with sprawling beaches and island getaways complete with resorts and vacation home rentals. For a glimpse at what the south was like 100 years ago, visit Charleston, where historical buildings stand and residents are tried and true to their roots. Plus, the seafood served up at the award-winning restaurants are worthy of multiple feasts. Then there is Hilton Head. This sleepy neck of the woods along South Carolina’s coast is surrounded by marsh, moss and golf courses, while filled with families biking, kayaking and romping on the beach. Keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins playing nearby; they are everywhere!

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Tennessee is perfect for the history buffs, music lovers and nature enthusiasts. So pretty much everyone! Start with a tour of Nashville for a true taste of country flair. Then head out to the Great Smoky Mountains for the a picturesque hike. In between, make sure you take the kids to Pigeon Forge for an amusement park they will never forget!

Take Me to Tennessee

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The “Historic Triangle” of Greater Williamsburg, Virginia, is steeped with history dating back to 1607 with the first English colony in nearby Jamestown. Colonial Williamsburg is a reproduction of how the capital of the colony of Virginia looked in the 18th century, and Yorktown is where America won its freedom in the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The Shenandoah Valley and its outdoor playground, the expansive beaches near Virginia Beach, and Washington, D.C.’s neighboring Alexandria provide vastly different spectrums of the state.

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What to Do

  • Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville
    One of the largest museums and hall of fames, the Country Music Hall of Fame features tributes to country, as well as rock and roll legends like Elvis..
  • Island Hop, Charleston
    Enjoy Charleston’s beaches along Kiawah and Sullivan Island. Or, just bop over to Folley Beach or the Isle of Palms. No matter which you pick, all are quiet and relaxing spots.
  • Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
    This public aquarium, features a 6.3-million gallon monster tank, which houses whale sharks. Other impressive exhibits focus on dolphins, beluga whales, and sea lions.
  • Play golf or tennis, Hilton Head
    As far as tennis and golf is concerned, take your pick, but some of the most lauded when you are ready to hit the court are Harbour Town Golf Links and Heron Point for golf and Palmetto Dunes, Sea Pines and the Van De Meer Tennis Center.
  • Historic River Street District, Savannah
    There are 22 squares to explore and nearly every one is dedicated to a historical figure or event, when strolling through Savannah. Enjoy a carriage ride around the squares and then visit the shops and restaurants in the historic River Street District.
  • Ryman Auditorium/Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
    Whether you visit the original Opry at the Roman or the new location near the Omni, the Grand Ole Opry is a staple to the south and country music. Tour the facilities or enjoy a live show..
  • Fort Sumter, Charleston
    Take a ferry and discover the fort where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Kids (and adults) can participate in the junior ranger program and earn a junior ranger badge here.
  • World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta
    One of Atlanta’s most famous inventions, Coca Cola is recognized across the globe. This museum, which traces the history of the iconic beverage, also looks at the company’s brilliant marketing efforts through the years. The tasting room at the end allows you to sample more than 100 beverages from around the world.
  • Colonial Williamsburg
    This living history museum includes parades, military shows, period dining, costumed actors, crafts and more..

Getting Around

These country roads were made for driving, and that’s just what you’ll do when visiting the wide region of the southeast. If staying along a beach, most coastal towns are bike and golf cart friendly, and you can leave your car parked. Cities are drivable, although traffic at rush hour is notorious around various cities.

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